Tags: rhino | face | elephant | hide | horn | poached

Rhino's New Face of Elephant Hide Heals After Horn Poached

Image: Rhino's New Face of Elephant Hide Heals After Horn Poached
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By    |   Monday, 17 Aug 2015 08:56 AM

Hope the rhino has received a new face made of elephant hide after poachers in South Africa hacked off one of her horns – but not before shooting her and killing her young calf.

The 12-year-old rhino named Ithemba in Zulu was attacked on Aug. 5 at a KwaZulu-Natal province wildlife park, according to USA Today.

The poachers sliced through the rhino's face to take her front horn and tried but failed to get the back one before fleeing, said Johan Marais, a wildlife surgeon at the University of Pretoria.

"This is a horrific injury and she must be in immense pain," said Marais. "They hacked off her front horn really deeply and then they started with the back horn."

Veterinarians used elephant skin to help form a new face, noted the Facebook page of Saving the Survivors, an organization started in 2012 to treat and care for rhinos hurt by poaching.

According to the group's website, veterinarians cleaned and debrided Hope's wounds, then fitted a shield over her face while they looked for materials to help with the healing process.

"When we removed the shield we were satisfied with how the wound was looking," said Marais. "There was little evidence of infection which was encouraging. There was a presence of maggots on the outer edges of the wound but nothing that concerned us."

"The rate of healing, although not as accelerated as much as we had hoped, was good. There was quite a bit of granulation tissue and the areas closest to her eyes were healing well," he said.

Will Fowlds, a veterinarian assisting with Hope's recovery, said the rhino has made enough progress that they hope they can assist further.

"(Hope) is becoming a living symbol of this poaching crisis, and an inspirational example of the fight for survival against seemingly insurmountable odds," he said. "Her struggle to claim back her life and her dignity must become our fight to change human behavior and restore value and respect and care for all living things."

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Hope the rhino has received a new face made of elephant hide after poachers in South Africa hacked off one of her horns – but not before shooting her and killing her young calf.
rhino, face, elephant, hide, horn, poached
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2015-56-17
Monday, 17 Aug 2015 08:56 AM
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